The Nexus 5 has been lauded as one of the best Android smartphones available this season, but those who have spent any time using its camera function have been left a little disappointed. Slow shutter speed, washed out images, and trouble with the focus have marred its reputation. Fortunately, Google has rolled out a massive update that fixes several bugs in the Nexus 5 camera, and will please shutterbugs who want to take high-quality pictures with their smartphones.

Speed Fixes

One of the biggest complaints initially about the Nexus 5 camera was its slow speed. Not only was the app slow to open (which is a deal-breaker for those hoping to catch impromptu shots), but the shutter speed was also notably slow, which made it hard for smartphone photographers to catch those elusive, perfectly timed shots. 

Both of these issues have been fixed in the Android 4.4.1 software update, The Verge reports. In addition to the quicker launch and shutter speed, the overall framerate has been increased so users can take rapid-fire pictures in much better quality. When shooting quickly, the autofocus feature will kick in much faster as well, if the user has enabled it.

Image Quality

The new Android update also brings some much-needed quality fixes. The focus in low light has been improved, meaning that pictures in less-than-optimal lighting won’t look as blurry as they did previously. 

Overall image contrast has also been improved, helping prevent photos from looking washed-out. Dave Burke, Google’s Director of Engineering for Android, said that this change was made “to make photos pop a little more.”

Still Not Perfect

These changes are certainly a welcome improvement over the original Nexus 5 camera, but there are still several tweaks that need to be made. Chief among these is a one-touch focus solution that allows users to chose their own focus, independent of the autofocus. While speed in good light has been greatly improved, low light shutter speed is still far too slow. 

Though no smartphone camera has the power to match the image quality delivered by a DSLR, many are coming close. Burke observes that “the quality bar and expectation bar [for smartphone cameras] has gone up higher and higher.” Though the Nexus 5 camera has been the subject of scrutiny over the past few weeks, these fixes look like they address the issues head-on. When the update rolls out in the next few days, users who had previously written off the smartphone’s camera as not up to par may find themselves reconsidering their position. 

Is camera quality a big consideration when you are deciding which smartphone to purchase?

Image courtesy of Flickr


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